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Clay queen Swiatek routs Paolini for fourth French Open title

Polish tennis player Iga Swiatek celebrates with the trophy after winning against Italy's Jasmine Paolini at the end of their Women's Singles Final tennis match on Court Philippe-Chatrier on Day 14 of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros Complex. Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/dpa

Iga Swiatek cemented her status as the queen of clay with a third straight and fourth overall French Open title on Saturday, a resounding 6-2, 6-1 triumph over surprise finalist Jasmine Paolini.

Poland's world number one Swiatek prevailed in 1 hour 8 minute over her 12th seeded Italian opponent who was playing in her first final at the majors.

Paolini, 28, showed no fear and broke in the third game but Swiatek roared back by winning the next 10 games for a 6-2, 5-0 lead. Paolini saved face by holding serve before Swiatek wrapped up matters with a service winner on first match point.

Swiatek the third to three-peat

Swiatek, 23, hit 18 winners to Paolini's seven as she became the third player in the Open era since 1968 to win the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen three times in a row, following Monica Seles 1990-1992 and Justine Henin 2005-2007.

Her four titles overall, the first coming in 2020, put her joint third with Henin at Roland Garros. Only Chris Evert with seven and Steffi Graf with six have more.

Swiatek also has a US Open trophy from 2022 for five career titles at the majors. She remains unbeaten in grand slam finals and has won the last 10 finals overall, dropping only one set in the process.

Emotional title after narrow escape last week

"Its amazing to be here. I love this place," an emotional Swiatek said after receiving the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen from former greats Evert and Martina Navratilova.

"I was almost out of the tournament. I needed to believe it was possible," she added in reference to her second round match against Naomi Osaka where she had to save a match point.

Paolini said: "I really enjoyed playing here. Congratulations Iga. To play you here is the toughest challenge in the sport. It was intense 15 days. I am proud of myself."

Swiatek came to Paris with clay titles in Madrid and Rome but had a lucky escape against the former grand slam champion Osaka.

That seemed to serve as a wake-up call as Swiatek dropped a mere 17 games in the next five matches to lift the trophy, including a 6-2, 6-4 semi-final triumph over US Open champion Coco Gauff.

Paolini fearless in first final

Paolini had never gone beyond the second round at the majors until reaching the last 16 at this year's Australian Open.

She then won a second career title in Dubai tournament before the dream run at Roland Garros which included a quarter-final win over former Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, the only player to beat Swiatek on clay this year.

Paolini matched Swiatek's power early on, saved a break point in the second game, and then broke in the next game when Swiatek's shot went long.

Swiatek shows her class

The joy was short-lived though as Swiatek hit back instantly.

She reeled off the next five games to go one set up, allowing Paolini a mere four points in the process.

The one-way traffic continued in the second. Paolini got a sniff in the form of a game point in the second game, but it came and went as Swiatek was soon 5-0 up. Paolini eventually got on the scoreboard with a fine winner but Swiatek then ruthlessly wrapped up matters.

Swiatek has now won 21 matches in a row at Roland Garros and her current overall run without defeat stands at 19.

One more title chance forPaolini

Paolini will meanwhile have another chance when she contests the women's doubles final with compatriot Sara Errani.

"Congrats for an amazing tournament Jasmine. And good luck for tomorrow," Swiatek said.

Italy, however, missed the men's doubles title as Andrea Vavassori and Simone Bolelli were defeated 5-7, 3-6 by Croatia's Mate Pavic and El Salvador's Marcelo Arevalo.

This was the first major title as a team for Pavic and Arevalo, who ousted top seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos in the semi-final.

Polish tennis player Iga Swiatek celebrates her victory over Italy's Jasmine Paolini after their women's singles final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros Complex. Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/dpa
Polish tennis player Iga Swiatek celebrates her victory over Italy's Jasmine Paolini after their women's singles final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros Complex. Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/dpa